TikTok. BeReal. Gen Z. Authenticity. That might seem like a grab bag of buzzwords, but it’s the marketing strategy behind clothing retail chain American Eagle Outfitters.
“[American Eagle] was ahead of the trend in really celebrating the authentic, real you,” Craig Brommers, CMO at American Eagle, said at The Brief, a Marketing Brew event in New York City last week. And it’s leveraging more than a few rising social media channels to do that.
TikTok, BeReal, and Snapchat are winning with Gen Z and are seen as authentic, Brommers said. That’s not so with Instagram, he says, because the heavy lifting curation doesn’t match Gen Z’s reality.
All of this comes as US retail social commerce sales this year grew 34.4% to reach $53.10 billion. By 2025, we project that number to reach $107.17 billion.
Here’s American Eagle's social strategy:
BeReal: “We were one of the very first brands to launch on BeReal,” Brommers said. “We didn’t know what was going to happen.”
TikTok: “That’s the drinking game in any marketing conversation right now,” Brommers joked. “It has true impact, not just from a brand perspective but from a commercial perspective.”
Snapchat: “10 or 15 years ago, our competitors would have been other mall-based retailers, and that’s just simply not the fact anymore. We are in a battle for attention and that attention could be technology, going out to eat, [or] travel. So we have had to up our game in terms of entertainment to make sure that our Gen Z fans are fully engaged in our brand.”
Reaching the next generation: “Our customer lifetime value is [two and a half] years, so we are constantly tapped into the next generation and the next youthful push,” Brommers said.
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